'The Voice' recap: Brooke Simpson, Chris Weaver and Lucas Holliday among nine advancing artists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/26/2017
The Voice's thirteenth season kicked off with a bang and coaches Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus winning the only four-chair turns of the night during Monday's premiere episode on NBC.
The Voice debuted with nine talented artists advancing from "The Blind Auditions" to the competition's "The Battle Round" after making a team coached by either Jennifer, Miley, Blake Shelton or Adam Levine.
Brooke Simpson, a 26-year-old from Hollister, NC -- who discussed being part of a small Native American community -- sang "Stone Cold" by Demi Lovato and peaked the interest of all four coaches, who all gave her an enthusiastic standing ovation.
"Do you guys smell that? It smells like victory," Adam noted, as Miley admitted the performance left her "speechless."
The coaches fought hard to have Brooke join their teams. Miley argued she's a very invested coach who wants to win this season -- and win with her. Miley said she'd put so much effort into finding Brooke the right songs and would help her reach her full potential.
Adam explained that most people who try to do what Brooke just accomplished shouldn't even attempt it because the combination of singing with soul, passion and technical proficiency is a rare find. Adam told Brooke that he would lead her down the right path on the show and ultimately help her get the trophy.
"I thought I knew singing until you just came out here and did that," Jennifer revealed.
Blake then argued that Brooke just needs an opportunity because her talent and artistry is so great, adding that her experience on the show will be about choosing the right moments, which he could assist her with.
In the end, Brooke picked Miley because she said their "spirits are similar" and Miley let her feel her heart race after the performance, which said a lot about Miley's interest in having her as a team member.
Chris Weaver, a worship leader by day and drag queen by night, took the stage with "Try a Little Tenderness," and he also got all four chairs to turn around for him.
Miley gushed about how she's "thirsty to win," and Jennifer threw a shoe at him to show how much she admired his performance. Jennifer insisted she wants to give Chris a voice far beyond the church and drag-queen performance nights.
Blake told Chris that he's won The Voice with country, pop and R&B artists, but now he's ready to defeat the other coaches with a drag queen. Blake even lied and said it was his birthday to convince Chris to choose him.
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Adam thanked Chris for giving the coaches an opportunity rather than the other way around. Adam called Chris a "very special" artist. But in the end, Chris opted to join Jennifer's team since she also grew up singing in church and attending drag shows for fun.
Three artists managed to sway three coaches into pushing their buttons.
Brandon Showell, a 26-year-old seventh-grade English teacher and former cruise ship singer from Virginia Beach, VA, performed "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back," and Adam, Jennifer And Miley all turned around.
Jennifer used to perform on cruise ships as well, so she could totally relate to Brandon. Adam's argument was that he had turned his chair around "noticeably faster" than the other two coaches because in that moment, it mattered how he felt -- not what the other coaches thought of the performance. Adam wanted to give Brandon the recognition he deserves.
After Brandon explained that his students are unaware of the fact he sings, Miley suggested his artistry should be one and the same with who he is as a person. Miley, who used to perform under her Hannah Montana persona, didn't want Brandon to continue living two separate lives.
In the end, Brandon chose to be on Adam's team, believing the Maroon 5 frontman could help him the most with "stage presence and confidence."
Mitchell Lee, a 29-year-old woodworker and aspiring dentist from Nashville, TN, performed "Hold My Hand," and Adam, Jennifer And Blake all pressed their buttons for the handsome contestant.
Adam told Mitchell that he hit notes with purpose and in a dynamic manner, showing that there is no "BS" to his singing. Adam added that it's a bonus Mitchell is such a good looking guy and he could go far in the competition.
Blake said he loves working with country and rock artists and would love to have him on his team. Jennifer added that Mitchell appeared very comfortable onstage and he definitely has his own lane of music on the show. With all that being said, Mitchell opted to be on Blake's team.
Dave Crosby, a 30-year-old YouTube sensation from Seattle, WA, took the stage with "I Will Follow You Into the Dark." Adam, Blake and Miley all wanted him on their teams, and Adam gushed about how he reacted to the performance "impulsively" because the "beauty and purity" of his voice is "irreplaceable."
Dave's adorable four-year-old daughter -- who stars in the YouTube videos with him -- came onstage and sang while her dad played guitar, which melted everyone's heart, but Adam made it clear this competition is strictly about Dave. And that's when Dave joined Adam's team.
Three artists sparked the interest of two coaches.
Janice Freeman, a 32-year-old single mom and cervical-cancer survivor from Compton, CA, sang "Radioactive" and got Jennifer And Miley to turn around. Janice picked Miley thinking that the coach would expose her to something totally different, allowing her to grow as an artist.
Shi'Ann Jones, a 15-year-old who sang "Drown In My Own Tears," joined Jennifer's team over Blake's team. Jennifer called the young artist her "mini me."
And Esera Tuaolo, a 48-year-old former pro NFL football player from Hawaii who currently resides in Minneapolis MN, sang "Rise Up." After both Jennifer And Blake turned around, Esera chose to become a member of Blake's team.
One big surprise of the night was Lucas Holliday, a 26-year-old convenient-store cashier from Lansing, MI.
The Caucasian man with light brown, shoulder-length hair and glasses sang "This Woman's Work" and had so much soul to his voice that the coaches were shocked to see what he looked like. But only Jennifer turned around for the artist, whom Blake repeatedly called "Frasier."
"He is everything that a show like The Voice represents," Jennifer said of Lucas.